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Sarasota to add roundabouts for traffic control

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Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 5:37 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The concept of a roundabout is not new in Sarasota. At any point in the day, you can see cars speed through the multi-lane roundabout at Tuttle Avenue and Siesta Drive, or at any of the other roundabouts sprinkled around town.

Linda Raynor is the owner of Headquarters Hair Design, a salon located next to Tuttle roundabout, and she says it has been nothing but a problem the past 20 years. "Speeding, not getting in the right lane, not yielding to the different lanes when people are getting into the center lane, and also going the wrong way," she says, ticking off a list of problems she’s observed.

But the Sarasota city engineer says that the proposed roundabouts will have only yield signs giving right of way to those drivers traveling around the circle, unlike the older roundabout along Tuttle, which has a stop sign.

The plans call for more than half a dozen multi-lane roundabouts at intersections along 10th Street, 14th Street, Fruitville Road, Gulfstream Boulevard, Main Street, Orange Avenue, and Ringling Boulevard. The idea is to connect downtown to the bayfront and keep traffic moving.

"It allows vehicles to continue on through, instead of stopping and starting and having higher speeds between intersections,” says Sarasota city engineer Alex Davis-Shaw. “It's a slower but more continual travel through U.S. 41, so it makes it safer and also allows for better pedestrian connectivity."

Not everyone is sold on the idea, including Osprey resident Shirley Laureno. "I think it will cause more problems especially, you know, with the older people,” she says. “They're going to be really confused."

Other drivers say that new roundabouts -- like the ones along Honore Avenue -- help move traffic along.

"At first it was a little dangerous because people didn't know the yield,” says Sarasota resident Terri Drenth, “but, you know, I do travel that road a lot and it's really not too bad."

The city also plans to add additional pedestrian features to the roundabouts, including pedestrian-activated crossing signals.

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6 comments:

  • FCSRQ posted at 8:37 am on Thu, Jul 10, 2014.

    FCSRQ Posts: 1

    Quite frankly, I don't know whose bright idea is it to make Sarasota into a miniature England.
    But I cannot tell you how many times I have seen more accidents because of these dumb circles of confusion.
    The county says it saves money on maintenance to traffic lights, but this will indeed cause many deaths.
    Let's face it, Sarasota still is a desirable place to retire and yes there are more seniors living here than the younger more alert drivers.
    It is not hard to see the confusion of who shall yield first. Just this morning I saw two fire trucks and a ton of police cars with an ambulance helping someone out of an overturned Chevy that collided with someone who probably thought he had the right of way on Honore Ave.
    Sarasota County better stop the madness to think this is another country and start paying attention to its own citizens. If there are deaths from this disaster of circles being placed all over Sarasota County - I hope to God each and every victims' families will sue the heck out of Sarasota County for being so stupid in hiring an idiot from another country and giving him license to kill innocent drivers.
    How stupid the people in our county commission's office to approve such an idea and to place them in busy streets, such as Bee Ridge, Honore and US 41!!
    You all better pray that a member of your family is not one of those victims to be killed by "not knowing" who has the right away confusion!

     
  • WordsPerMinute posted at 6:28 pm on Tue, Apr 8, 2014.

    WordsPerMinute Posts: 1

    I like roundabouts and I agree with ScottRAB. The thing you have to remember is that 'yield' doesn't mean stop unless there is a car to your left. Once in the roundabout and I am making a 270deg. change of direction I simply turn on my left turn signal as a courtesy to the drivers approaching to my right. The reason is I can't read minds and they may be from out of town and not understand a roundabout.

    I want this to work because we don't need any more lights and electronics and long stops. Roundabouts also put much needed landscaping in the area to keep us from looking like just another hot flat city full of asphalt.

     
  • fishinbuddy posted at 1:31 pm on Sat, Mar 1, 2014.

    fishinbuddy Posts: 9

    Please stop with all these roundabouts ! They are a pain in the A** And do nothing but impede the flow of traffic. Also please stop putting bushes and trees on the left side of the intersections it only creates a blind spot to oncoming traffic.

    Thanks.

     
  • ScottRAB posted at 7:49 pm on Fri, Feb 28, 2014.

    ScottRAB Posts: 2

    Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world. Visit http://tinyurl.com/iihsRAB for modern roundabout FAQs and safety facts. Modern roundabouts, and the pedestrian refuge islands approaching them, are two of nine proven safety measures identified by the FHWA, http://tinyurl.com/7qvsaem

     
  • ScottRAB posted at 7:49 pm on Fri, Feb 28, 2014.

    ScottRAB Posts: 2

    Many people confuse older styles of circular intersections with modern roundabouts. East coast rotaries, large multi-lane traffic circles (Arc D’Triomphe), and neighborhood traffic circles are not modern roundabouts. If you want to see the difference between a traffic circle, a rotary (UK roundabout) and a modern roundabout (UK continental roundabout), go to http://tinyurl.com/kstate-RAB to see pictures. And here’s another site that shows the difference between an older rotary and a modern roundabout: http://tinyurl.com/bzf7qmg
    The FHWA (http://tinyurl.com/fhwaRAB) has a video about modern roundabouts that is mostly accurate (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhHzly_6lWM ).

     
  • Sarasota Vet posted at 9:16 am on Fri, Feb 28, 2014.

    Sarasota Vet Posts: 13

    When will Sarasota realize that traffic circles are a thing of the past? Many other states removed them years ago, they are an archaic method of traffic control.

    A perfect example is the Venice Round-About!!! [sad]